Campbell column: My breakup with cable

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I went to bed at 10:30 Monday night. This might not seem early to some, but I usually don’t hit the hay until at least midnight.
So, why the early bedtime? Perhaps, itís my recent breakup with cable.
I usually stay up late watching shows that I’ve slowly become addicted to ó House Hunters, Top Chef, The Real Housewives series.
Monday night after checking my email, updating my Facebook, reading news stories and scouring blogs for a couple of hours I realized I had nothing else to do. I was exhausted, so I went to bed.
I ended up sleeping 10 hours that night, which is probably a record for a work night and I felt great Tuesday.
If cable and I hadnít parted ways I probably would have stayed up late and ended up super groggy and irritable.
You might be wondering why my relationship with cable came to an end since I was obviously smitten. And I admit Friday nights arenít the same without marathon episodes of ěSay Yes to the Dress.î
But, when the one-year introductory price expired a couple months ago, increasing the monthly bill by at least $40, I knew it was time to downsize. I put it off for a while, dreading the idea of living without ěmy shows,î but reality ruled when I realized I simply couldnít afford to keep it.
With food costs and gas prices going up, cable has become an unnecessary expense, a luxury.
I’ve always been pretty addicted to TV so making this decision wasn’t easy. In high school, I spent hours catching up on ěThe Real Worldî and I hardly ever missed an episode of ěSaturday Night Live.î
When I got to college I was hooked on reruns of ěGilmore Girlsî and could hardly wait for 9 p.m. each Thursday when a new episode ěGrayís Anatomyî premiered.
But, I figure with so much technology I can watch my favorite shows online and skip the filler, you know the shows you watch just because they are on.
And my time can also be better allocated.
Now that cable is gone, I’m looking forward to reading the stack of books that is piled up on my nightstand.
It will also give me more time to catch up with friends. With most of my best gal pals living either on the other side of the state or in different states altogether, it can be tough to stay in touch. Now, I have free time after work to chat it up for hours without worrying if Iím going to miss something on TV.
My break-up with cable will probably equate to more time logged at the gym, which can never be a bad thing.
In the past, TV has been a distraction that kept me out of the kitchen. Now, I might actually be able to cook a meal instead of relying on frozen dinners and simple sandwiches.
My first instinct after I change out of my work clothes into something more comfy and flop down on the sofa is still to grab the remote, but now without as many options the TV only holds my attention momentarily.
But in time I think Iíll find myself gravitating away from the boob tube to more active hobbies.
Iím sure Iíll look back on this breakup and feel a sense of relief that I didnít spend my life as a bystander, watching other people through the screen.
The split has given me back something I didnít even realize I was missing ó my life.
Sarah Campbell covers education for the Salisbury Post. Reach her at 704-797-7683 or scampbell@salisburypost.com.

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